AFRICA – IFC has invested US$4.1 million into Nespresso’s not-for-profit arm, Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund, to promote more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive livelihoods for coffee-growing communities in Africa while preserving some of the world’s rarest coffee varieties.

The partnership seeks to support coffee farmers as they transition to regenerative agriculture, which reduces carbon emissions, promotes nature-based solutions, and improves the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

The parties will start working with an initial cohort of around 2,000 farmers in Uganda and Zimbabwe, where Nespresso has its Reviving Origins program, with the opportunity to expand to other countries in Africa.

Nespresso, the coffee operating unit of the Nestlé Group, is the pioneer and reference for the highest-quality portioned coffee. 

The company works with more than 120,000 farmers in 15 countries through its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program to embed sustainability practices on farms and the surrounding landscapes. 

Launched in 2003 in collaboration with the NGO Rainforest Alliance, the program helps to improve the yield and quality of harvests, ensuring a sustainable supply of high-quality coffee and improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities.

It mostly supports coffee-growing regions affected by a wide range of adversities such as conflict, protracted economic hardship, and environmental disasters.

The Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund works to help restart local economies, protect endangered coffee varieties, and enable its growers to meet sustainability requirements laid out under Nespresso’s AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program.

“We are building on our work with IFC in improving the livelihoods of smallholders in Africa through the transition to regenerative farming practices.

“Together with IFC, we can really create transformative community-level projects within our Reviving Origins program,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO of Nespresso.

IFC and Nespresso are both committed to gender diversity and inclusion, and the program will also seek to address gender gaps in coffee production by helping women coffee growers better access the resources and knowledge they need to thrive.

“Supporting and strengthening coffee-growing communities is essential, especially given the stresses placed on growers by climate change.

“We are convinced that blended investments and partnerships between the private sector and development institutions are critical to accelerate and scale the transition to regenerative, low-carbon coffee cultivation that delivers better livelihoods for farmers,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.

In 2016, IFC and the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes provided US$6 million in financing to the Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund, supporting the company’s efforts to improve the climate resilience and productivity of smallholder coffee growers in Ethiopia and Kenya.

The program served as a proof of concept for ways to help women farmers play a more central role in sustainable coffee production.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.